Podcasts, Library Stuff, ChromeOS, More: Sunday Buzz, July 9, 2017


Nieman Labs: Podchaser, an “IMDb for podcasts,” is building a big tags-based database to help people discover shows . “The ‘podcast discovery is broken’ maxim, now frustratingly familiar, has spawned no shortage of efforts looking to solve it. A new podcast database and discovery site, Podchaser, which is billing itself as the “IMDb of podcasts,” is also taking a swing at the issue with what it says is a new spin: a focus on podcast episodes rather than entire shows, as well user-generated tagging and episode-level reviews.” This doesn’t address all my concerns about podcast search, but it sounds like a good start.


Steven Cohen’s Library Stuff has lost its ITI sponsorship and might be shutting down. “I was informed this week that Information Today (ITI) will cease sponsorship of my blog, Library Stuff, in August. ITI is a top notch company that took a chance on a second tier, haphazardly-filled, professional library blog in 2005. Thank you to everyone at ITI for making this happen for the past 12 years.”

Engadget: Touch-friendly controls are coming to Chrome OS . “Google’s lightweight Chrome OS was never intended for touch, but that didn’t stop the likes of Samsung and Acer creating touch-enabled Chromebooks. It probably helped that the OS was set to receive access to millions of Android apps. All that was left was to put those touch displays to good use. And, the updated launcher for Chrome Canary (the experimental iteration) is a sign of things to come.”


PC World: Google Assistant: 5 killer new features you should be using. “Google has had voice search features in Android for years, but when Google Assistant rolled out on the Pixel in October 2016, everything finally came together. You can now get Assistant on plenty of Android devices, and Google just improved the platform with a raft of new features in recent weeks.”


In development: an online archive of Igbo studies. “The Igbo Studies Archive is a lifetime digital project that seeks to provide detailed, scholarly information on key topics in all areas of Igbo studies. The archive will be an extensive resource, with contributions from the Igbo community at home and abroad as well as experts in Igbo studies around the world. The online archive will involve the digitisation of existing content and the creation of new content by specialists in Igbo studies. It will include digital objects such as text, and audiovisual material relating to Igbo studies. The archive will consist of a broad range of content, including the Igbo diaspora, oral histories as well as profiles of on every town in Igboland.” For more information about the Igbo people check out this page at the University of Iowa.

Kansas City Star: World War I Museum and Memorial receives $300,000 gift for digitization project . “A $300,000 gift from the William T. Kemper Foundation will assist the effort to digitize the collection of the National World War I Museum and Memorial.”

The Next Web: Googling ‘black baby portraits’ reveals yet another problem with AI. “In today’s episode of AI Screws Up Again, try typing in ‘black baby portraits’ into Google. You will not get many photos of black babies.” The article points out that the same issue occurs with Bing.

TechCrunch: YC-backed Vidcode raises $1.5M to teach teens to code using Snapchat filters, videos, memes and more. “Vidcode, a Y Combinator-backed startup focused on teaching teens how to code, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding for its curriculum. While there are a number of learn-to-code platforms out there today, Vidcode’s approach is to make coding more interesting to teens by connecting it to their existing interests – like Snapchat filters and memes – while also allowing young coders to leverage their own photos, videos and audio in their projects.”


News18 India: Posting Andaman Tribes’ Videos on Social Media Now Punishable. “Action will be taken against those who have uploaded videos and pictures of the protected Jarawa and other tribal communities of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on social media, the government said on Friday.”


CNBC: Inside Facebook’s speech recognition factory. “Apple has Siri and Amazon’s got Alexa. Microsoft created Cortana and Alphabet launched the Google Assistant. The technology giants are racing to bring speech recognition to consumers through a host of mass-market devices and apps. But one company has been curiously absent: Facebook.” Massive database of 182,000 leaves is helping predict plants’ family trees. “The story of a plant is etched in its leaves. A tree growing in a cold environment with plenty of water is more likely to have large leaves with many serrated teeth around the edges. But if the same species lives in a warm, dry region, its leaves are likely to be smaller and smoother. Now, an atlas that traces the shapes of 182,000 leaves from 141 plant families and 75 locations around the world shows promise for refining scientists’ ability to read that story.” Good morning, Internet…

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